CHENNAI: There can be no second opinion that the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) trains are a gift to the residents of South Chennai. It hardly takes 20 minutes to Tirumailai from Velachery, which, otherwise, takes twice the time by road. But, the hassle-free services touted to be a redefining transportation system in Chennai, is losing its sheen, thanks to erratic services.
Frequent commuters of MRTS are complaining that the trains are not running as per schedule, putting them in a quandary.
"We face problems during the rush hours," said Madhusudanan, a resident of Kotturpuram. A regular MRTS commuter, he said, it was a common sight that four trains move in tandem within 20 minutes on one direction even as the hapless passengers on the opposite side wait for a long time.
With trains getting delayed, more people pile up at the platform, vying with each other to board the train once it reaches the station. Ironically, the following trains that come within a few minutes ply with less passengers.
"It appears as if there is no planning in MRTS operations," said Roshan, a commuter from Tiruvanmiyur. Pointing out that trains did not stick to the stipulated schedule, he said, "Once I saw six trains within a span of 20 minutes moving one after the other. The last three trains were almost empty as the other three services had cleared the crowd from the subsequent railway stations."
On an average, as many as 80,000 - 90,000 people travel by MRTS trains daily between Chennai Beach and Velachery.
The train passes through 19 stations including Fort, Park Town, Chindatripet, Chepauk, Triplicane, Light House, Tirumailai, Mandaveli, Greenways Road, Kotturpuram, Kasturbai Nagar, Indra Nagar, Tiruvanmiyur, Taramani and Perungudi.
When contacted, railway officials were not available for comment.